Updated July 20, 2020
By the Board of Directors
Susan Andrea-Schlenker, President
In 2013 the City of Kenosha Common Council adopted the Southport Park Master Plan (SPMP) which recommended the creation of a private sector partner to assist the City with development and implementation of the plan’s envisioned goals. The Southport Park Association (SPA), a non-profit 501© (3) corporation (NFPC), was established by community volunteers in 2014 to fulfill that recommendation.
The BOD adopted Bylaws, Policies and Procedures for NFPC compliance, and a committee structure for accomplishing the goals set forth in the SPMP. In 2017, the BOD entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Kenosha in order to establish an effective partnership for design, planning, and budgeting of public improvements and private contributions to the revitalization of the Southport Park and historic Southport Beach House.
In keeping with the vision and goals set forth in the SPMP, the Association Board of Directors (BOD) formulated an initial strategic plan for implementation of the improvements to the Southport Beach House and the Southport Park. In 2017 the Association identified challenges and opportunities that would be significant factors in realizing the envisioned goals of the SPMP and adopted an initial strategic plan to that end.
Southport Beach House Revitalization
At the request of Mayor Antaramian, SPA developed recommendations for utilization and building design in keeping with the historic character and uses of the beach house and objectives of the SPMP. SPA submitted those recommendations to Mayor Antaramian in December 2017.
SPA recommended three conceptual approaches which emphasized the importance of enhanced public engagement with the park through upgraded onsite amenities, sustainable programs and services, and educational opportunities to promote the enduring value of environmental stewardship. SPA recommended the following uses for the Southport Beach House:
- Establish onsite food and beverage services via private sector partnership
- Contract with a private sector vendor for beachfront amenities, equipment, and activities
- Seek out educational and/or additional community programs that could be offered to the public through seasonal, interim, or ongoing agreements.
Under Mayor Antaramian’s leadership, the City proceeded toward design and structural improvements, guided by Engberg Anderson Architects of Milwaukee, a firm with extensive experience in historic preservation projects; and GRAEF Engineering, a company widely acknowledged for their expertise in complex analysis of materials, structural problems, and reconstruction techniques in historic buildings. The City of Kenosha Departments of Public Works and Community Development, the City of Kenosha Historic Preservation Commission, and the Common Council have provided extensive support in coordinating and budgeting for these improvements.
The exterior reconstruction began in 2019 and has been phased for completion in 4-5 years. Given the significant progress toward exterior structural improvements that are now underway, in 2019 the BOD determined it would be timely to update our governing documents. Recently we updated our Bylaws to reflect operating practices of the SPA and modernized our committee structures accordingly.
The BOD has also updated our Strategic plan to reflect our current organizational assets, our long-term objectives, and short-term goals toward those objectives. We have prioritized our operating plan for the next 3 years.
Strategic Plan Overview
SPA Organizational Strengths
- Positive community relationships with citizenry, notably the adjacent Southport neighborhood, other non-profit organizations and across units of government.
- Positive relationships with the City of Kenosha, including the Administration, Common Council, Department Heads, and City Staff.
- Recent community successes with historic preservation projects in downtown Kenosha and Simmon’s Island
Park have bolstered the credibility and value of continuing expansion of local preservation efforts. Over the past 5 years there has been a significant increase in private sector investment in the rehabilitation of older structures in Kenosha’s historic downtown, and growing support from the business community in general.